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Which 2x3 GRAFLEX?
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Which 2x3 GRAFLEX? Reply with quote

Hi everyone this is my first post and I am looking at getting my first 2x3 Graflex. The CENTURY looks good, but I don't know if has any movements or which lenses will work with it. What do you guys suggest? Oh I have been shooting with my Argus C3 (my first camera I ever bought) for the past 7 years and have got good result from it, but I am in need of a camera that I can shoot in a studio and out on a location. I do mostly B&W Fine Art photography of Classic, HotRods, and Exotic cars/motorcycles.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will the Century is a very Great little camera as it has the Graflok
back that lets you use sheet film & OR use roll film holders!
it has only front movements .
you can use any thing from a 47mm Super Angulon WA to a
240mm tele-Arton.
as far as to most of your B&W Fine Art photography of Classic, HotRods, and Exotic cars/motorcycles it should have plenty of movements
NOW it you think that you need more movements I would look at a Horseman VH , VHR or maybe a Linhof IV as they have more movements
ALL the lens are about the same as you can put them on what ever lensboard for the camera you have
BUT the Horseman VH , VHR & Linhof IV will be 2 x to 4 x the price!!
But most of all the lens is the most important part as the camera body
only big job is to be light tight & maybe have some movements
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joey, banjo and I often disagree about nearly everything.

He's right, many lenses can be used on a Century. To read about the lenses I've put on mine (35 mm to 480 mm, note that using anything much longer than the 270 Banjo mentioned requires some trickery) see: http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

People claim the Century allows front rise (it does, ~ 18 mm), front fall (it does, but is nearly always unusable), front shift (it does, ~10 mm right or left but nearly always unusable), and front tilt (backwards, nearly always useless; forwards, nearly always unusable). If there were truth in advertising, Century Graphic fans and Crown/Speed Graphic fans would claim only that the cameras have a little front rise.

If you need what a proper view camera can do, you'd best get one. This is not to say that I don't like my Century or that it isn't a very capable little camera, just that it is not and never will be a good substitute for a proper monorail view camera.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Dan said. For the sort of photography you say you intend to do, you may not need much in the way of movements anyway. I've found the front rise on my Century to be mostly adequate in most situations, but it certainly won't handle extreme perspective corrections (nor would most lenses you're apt to be using, unless you like the vignette effect!). I scan my negs into Photoshop and make necessary perspective corrections there, so this isn't a big issue for me. I always shoot 120 roll film, not 2x3 cut film, of which there is very little available today. My basic lens set includes 65, 101, 135, and 203 mm Optars in Graphex shutters; I also have the 103 Graftar that came on the camera, as well as a 152 Optar which I've not used yet. The 103 is in the self-cocking Century (Wollensak) shutter, and is mighty "handy" for hand-held shooting: the sort of thing you might do at a meet or rally. Most of my work is done on a tripod, with gg focussing, subject matter architectural and industrial stuff. I shoot C-41 stock (Ilford XP2 Super for b/w, developed by a local camera shop lab), also color transparency (Fuji Provia 100), very seldom color negative stock. I no longer maintain a wet darkroom, not even for film, as the C-41 and E-6 can be developed locally. All scanning and printing is done on Epson equipment (Expression 1600 scanner, R2880 printer).

Banjo is correct about the pricey-ness of other 2x3 cameras. You may find that the Century fills your needs. I'd be sure to get one that includes the Kalart rangefinder and the folding focussing hood with ground glass; any Century that you see listed, lacking either or both of those features, would be a deal-breaker for me. Enough of these cameras come up on the 'bay at a range of prices, so take your time and get what you really want and need. Good luck!

BTW, Dan Fromm's essay (see link above) is a primer on just about any and every lens you're liable to ever use on a Century! Highly recommended reading! I'm on of those posters on graflex.org he refers to as liking my Optar 101 f4.5. I suspect that there was a fair amount of sample variation in the production of these lenses; some of us got good ones, some not so good: luck of the draw. And Dan is right about the 103 Graftar: don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Mine is a decent enough lens, used straight on and stopped down to at least f/8-f/11. It won't tolerate any movement, but that's not the way you're likely to use it, if you're doing hand-held work with it.
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys for all the great info. How much should I except to pay for one with two roll backs (Singers) and two non roll backs, Kalart finder with the Graflex Optar 101mm f4.5 lens everything in 7 out of 10 condition
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey on ebad they go for $100. to $200. for the Century
& the roll film holder $35. to $85. each
BUT some with RED Bellows go as high as $600.
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what is the difference between the black bellow and red bellow models? I asume nothing besides colors. Also if I find one for a really low price that needs new bellows..does anyone know where I can go to have them replaced?

Oh Henry.. that lens piece you did is amazing and I am very grateful for people like you that take the time to research and write about it!
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will thay say that the red Don't last as long as a Black one does!?!?
But I have some 50 2x3 cameras !! Burke & James, Busch, Linhof,
Galvin, Arca Swiss, Horseman & Graflex "all $ of them" {{that Miniature Speed Graphic , Pacermaker Speed , Crown & the Century}}
AND out of all of them Century HAS THE BEST BELLOWS of them all !!!
as of yet I have never had to replace a bellows on a Century!!!
AND I have one of the first 500 Century ever made from 1949 the first year & it still have its first Bellows!! I can't say that about my Linhof that cost 5X as much!!! it needs a new bellows NOW ! and thats maybe it 5th & its a 1952 or 53?
BUT there are place that can make a new bellows BUT they dont list them for a Century as they don't make them very offen BUT they do list them for Linhof as if you get 10 years out of a linhof you are doing good!
now I have change out the bellows on a 1956 Crown But it set out open
as a shilf in a home maybe in brite sunlight
I change out the bellows on my Arca Swiss SL23 it was maybe 20 years old
at the time
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I just scored a Century (black bellows) that has the stock lens (103mm),Kalart rangefinder, and a grid ground glass back, but with no film backs... I gave up on that Red bellow one with the 4 film backs as this one had the grid ground glass back.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joey Anchors wrote:
what is the difference between the black bellow and red bellow models? I asume nothing besides colors. Also if I find one for a really low price that needs new bellows..does anyone know where I can go to have them replaced?

Oh Henry.. that lens piece you did is amazing and I am very grateful for people like you that take the time to research and write about it!
Joey, I wrote it.

Good luck with your new camera.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, ha. Joey, I've been using the alias "Dan Fromm" for many years now. Glad you enjoyed "my" piece!
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:


Good luck with your new camera.

Dan I feel like a jerk now... Sorry about that. You are a master with your in-depth research my friend!
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK you now have a start
#1 I like the Angulon 65mm for its size as you can leave it on the camera & close it! the Super angulon 65mm you have to take it off to close the camera
#2 a Schneider Tele-Arton 240mm f/5.5

NOW I don't like my 103mm Graftar BUT as its scratch!! so its not a good one
to try!!

NOW I like horseman roll film holders BUT you have to make them work
To do that the Century has to be cut a little on the lifthand side on the back to let the horseman roll film holder to set down right!! its not hard to do

But now Dan will say Adapt-a-roll is the way to go!!

but you can use Mamiya RB67 roll film holders but they don't have any 6x9
but 645 , 6x6, & 6x7

the Singer Graphic RH8 "6x9" & the RH10 "6x7" are probly the best graflex
roll film holders
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah those are the two I will keep my eyes peeled for... oh here is the S# 500574. what year is this camera?
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2nd bach 1949
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